What is that New-Mac smell?

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Wait, isn't that a typo? Didn't you mean that "new-car smell?"

No typo. I'm not a huge fan of the new car-smell. In fact, I usually keep my windows open 24/7 the first week I drive a car off the lot, so that Mother Nature can help speed the process along, sweeping that artificial smell out. I've never understood why anyone would want to buy an aerosol spray or one of those Christmas tree deodorizers that promise to bring the new-car smell back. In fact, there have been many studies done that say the chemicals in the plastics, paints and adhesives that are responsible for that new-car smell are actually quite toxic.

That new-Mac smell, on the other hand"¦! I've never bought a PC, but imagine some of the plastics probably responsible for the smell (polystyrene), are used by all manufacturers because it's technically not a new-Mac smell, it's a new-Apple smell. The company uses the same plastic in most of their products. I bought a Time Capsule not too long ago, it had it, and, of course, my new iPhone had it. But then I got a new MacBook, the aluminum one, and it had it. So I began to wonder, is it really the polystyrenes or is it something more motherboard-related?

I've done quite a bit of research but have come up empty-handed. Any Apple employees reading this blog? Anyone know the true source of the new-Mac smell? Is it in the packaging and not the computer at all? Is it something that spreads from the packaging to the electronics and then dissipates back into the atmosphere once the packaging has been removed? That's another theory I've been hatching.

Usually, the smell only lasts about a week or so, but that's long enough. Even if someone invented the new-Mac smell spray, I don't love it so much that I'd be the guy spraying his computer every couple days. Still, there's something wonderful about opening the packaging and taking that first whiff, no?

Who disagrees?

March 23, 2009 - 3:02am
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